How devaluing the preborn leads to the craziness of baby hating

How devaluing the preborn leads to the craziness of baby hating (Zoe Graham/Unsplash)

This year, with Valentine’s Day falling on a Wednesday, some of us have already celebrated last weekend, or we will this coming one. Either way, thoughts of love are in the air.

The tradition of Valentine’s Day seems to be connected to a legend about a third-century Christian martyr who allegedly cut hearts out of parchment paper to encourage others in prison.

What I appreciate about this story, historical or not, is it illustrates how love is not limited to romance.

In fact, love is a hugely important concept in the world of pro-life ministry. 

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I’m talking about the kind of love expressed by the apostle Paul:

“Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth. Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.” –1 Cor. 13:4-7

It’s this kind of love Christians are called to demonstrate to one another. It’s the attitude we seek to maintain toward those who oppose us.

It’s the type of love we seek to show those we serve—the mothers and the babies.

Our motto is love them both.

That’s how we clarify our motives when we are accused of only caring about the unborn child and not the pregnant mother.

But in a strange twist, I’m noticing something disturbing in our culture more recently.

It’s baby hating.

In a recent social media post, someone claimed, “it’s okay to not like babies.” 

Following this comment was a long string of responses, most of them exhorting adults to exercise patience and understanding when in the presence of a young child’s meltdown rather than hating on babies.

While most of the remarks in this particular thread advocated for babies, the incident exposed an increasing intolerance toward very young children in our culture.

Babies have lots of needs around the clock. Their emotions are not regulated. When they’re hungry or tired or in pain, they can’t communicate what’s wrong.

A baby is an incredible miracle—yet a baby requires loving care. If we lack love, babies can easily threaten our comfort and convenience. 

This threat can trigger the stranger who happens to be nearby when a baby begins crying, or the woman who was not planning on becoming pregnant.

Our society is quite short on the kind of love Paul writes about—patient, kind, not irritable, not seeking one’s own advantage, putting up with all things—we’re okay with the idea of romance, but this sacrificial stuff? 

We’re not so interested in that.

When it comes to babies, they can be a bother, so we decide it’s ok not to like them.

(Imagine saying that about people of a certain race or nationality!)

But really, we’ve gone beyond “not liking” babies. In too many cases, we’ve become cruel and vicious toward them.

More and more stories come to light of babies left to die alone on a cold table after a botched abortion. Of babies stuffed in plastic bags and left in trash cans. 

Babies discarded like so much waste, their value as a human being erased, their basic needs callously ignored.

We’re sliding down a slippery slope toward the barbaric habits of the ancient Romans, who left their unwanted babies lying in fields to die of exposure (many simply because they were female).

It’s been said one can tell a great deal about a society by the way its infants are treated.

Those of us in the pro-life movement believe the weakest and most vulnerable among us should be a top priority in terms of protection.

Tweet This: Those of us in the pro-life movement believe the weakest and most vulnerable among us should be a top priority in terms of protection.

The womb should be the safest place on earth. Yet invasions into that sacred space occur daily around the globe, snuffing out the lives of the innocent.

And now it’s not just children in the womb. It’s infants.

I fear our culture is growing more hardhearted. Our collective conscience is becoming even more seared. Already, there’s a growing acceptance of seeing some babies as undesirables to be eliminated.

When the preborn are devalued, it’s only a matter of time before more people groups are targeted for disposal—infants born in unfavorable circumstances, the mentally ill, the disabled, and so on.

The life-affirming mission serves as gatekeepers for all humanity. Our work is more important than ever.

Let’s continue to love, not because it’s convenient and comfortable, but because God loves every human being He creates.

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